You stand behind the door, breath heavy, palms sweaty and your heart in your mouth. Will this be the one? No, don’t get emotionally involved you whisper to yourself as you grasp the handle of the door and slowly open it. You have no idea what the person is really like, sure you know their name and stalked them on Facebook but what are they really like? Do they really like dogs that much? You hope not because you’re more of a cat person anyways. The light binds you as you open the door and you put on your biggest smile.
“Hi! I’m Barbara”
“Nice to meet you! I’m Fredrick.”
Oh gosh, is that dog hair on his jacket? You look down and realise it’s another failed setup.
Does this sound familiar? It should. Why do you ask? Because it’s a job interview.
I’ve always thought that there is an uncanny resemblance to recruitment and marriage. Both start off looking for THE ONE, you know THE one right? They sweep you off your feet, make big promises and you hope that the bliss lasts forever. But it never does.
Soon the promise of cooking 3 times a week dwindles to one, or none. You were promised that the deadline would be met and after 3 email reminders and one awkward “head popping around the corner to check progress” later, still nothing. And while you grip your hair and ask yourself with gritted teeth why me? Why did I get myself into this again. You decide it’s better to do everything yourself and you don’t need any help. 2 months later you’re gripping the door handle again. This time even less trusting and almost willing the person to prove you right. Guess what? They almost always do.
Dating is like the interview, probation is like engagement and marriage is like permanent employment. Employers blame the employee. Employee blames the employers. Husband blames the wife. Wife blames the husband. What if I told you everyone is to blame?
Unrealistic expectations are the real problem here. The lady expects a knight in shining armour, the man expects a superwoman. Employee expects the easiest job with no responsibility with the highest salary and the boss expects a cheap robot slave with no opinion. With these expectations failure is the only option. What if there is a middle ground?
The first thing we do when we find a fault in the other person is to run a mile because anything other than perfect isn’t good enough. As soon as they employee has a sick day eyebrows are raised. If your boss pushes a deadline they are automatically labelled as unfair and your friends hear all about it over drinks. I think most people are a little more forgiving with their partners, why can’t we be so with our career relationship? Although with the high divorce rate that may not be the best advice, so take this as some personal and career advice. We need to understand people better and that every person on this planet has their good and bad aspects. Their bad aspects need to be complimented by your good aspects and vice versa. Instead of trying to find perfection, which literally doesn’t exist, rather try and find the perfect fit FOR YOU. Understand that they will have their bad aspects and choose someone whose bad aspects are tolerable and that you can compensate for. Remember that they must compensate for your bad aspects too, because you aren’t perfect either.
With this in mind I hope that we can relook at recruitment and talk about our bad aspects, instead of hiding them and pretending that they don’t exist. Let’s embrace them and discuss the kind of people that we need to fill the gaps in the organisation. At the same time, allow the employee some insight as to the people they are working with and if they can cope with their weaknesses.
Written By: Nicky Henderson